What you have written is spot on. And let’s not forget the enormous profitability of ARVs to pharma companies as a motivating factor to keep the disease in the spotlight as ‘highly transmissible’. Personally I know quite a few people that have done arv courses after an unprotected heterosexual encounter, justa as a precautionary measure. Of course that is purely anecdotal.
From what I’ve read, precautionary treatment is unwarranted in most cases, given the low probability of seroconversion even if the partner in question is known to be positive (I’m speaking about heterosexual sex here). Though, when I was in Ghana, I knew a guy who had unprotected sex with a prostitute. In his case it seemed like a good idea, God knows I would’ve wanted to be on meds too if I had done something so monumentally stupid. As far as I know he didn’t end up testing positive.
I’m sure that fears are only amplified in South Africa, where I believe nearly half of deaths are AIDS-related.[/quote]
Yes, the use of the precautionary course IS unwarranted in the heterosexual context. Doesn’t stop the doctor from prescribing it though. That’s my point. A very wise old doctor , my GP way back when, gave me the lowdown when I approached him with my concerns about 18 or 19 years (give or take,was a long time back) ago in this respect, as I was doing my fair share of shagging around. I remember the conversation like It was the other day. He asked me if I was A) an intravenous drug user,
C) Screwing prostitutes
The answer to all three was no, so he told me: If you want to live a long life, the best advice I can give you is don’t smoke and wear your seatbelt. Other than that lead your life and stop stressing, the odds are miniscule.[/quote]
I had a doctor tell me something similar. I mentioned that the only really questionable contact I ever had was a single encounter when I was seventeen. I made it sound worse than it was just to be conservative about it, told him I had reason to believe she’d been around quite a bit, etc. He said that testing would be a waste of time.
But, here’s the real question: is it best that not many people understand this? The truth is that a single act of vaginal intercourse with a woman known to be seropositive is highly unlikely to result in infection. It’s true, so it has that going for it, but it could also lead to a complacency that is remarkably dangerous. 1 in 2,000 is great comfort to those who have slipped up a single time, but extrapolate that over an entire libidinous population and it’s easy to understand why heterosexual sex is now the most common mode of transmission worldwide.
In other words, is this one situation in which widespread misconception is to be left alone, even celebrated?[/quote]
I think that more information is always better than less, and that people are going to get it on no matter what. Truth is HIV, while tragic and certainly prevalent in certain areas of the world, like SA, is not the wildfire plague or epidemic it was being touted as being in the Western world. As a virus it is rather inefficient, as was stated earlier.
But in low education societies ,like Africa, the lies makes no difference. Sex is one of the few pleasures the poor can indulge in same as the wealthy. And they do. Without protection. No matter what the official stance is. It is more a socio economic problem in these places. When you’re hungry and living a threadbare existence for peanuts, condoms are the furthest thing from your mind. In Africa contraception should be the rule not to primarily curb HIV, but to slow population growth which just increases the poverty.
Well put. I tend to agree, especially re: Africa. I am still conflicted about it here in the US. I have to admit that I’m happy some of my more idiotic friends greatly overestimate the risk HIV acquisition, because that still only stops them half the time.